Moments In Time: The day Jerome Taylor’s bat stood between the West Indies and defeat

By July 21, 2020
jerome Taylor celebrating is only Test century against New Zealand jerome Taylor celebrating is only Test century against New Zealand

With the West Indies faltering badly in their first innings to eventually fall to England in the second Test of the #raisethebat Series, I thought it interesting to look back at a game where the West Indies used their first innings to ensure a game that could have gotten away from them, didn’t.

It turns out that maybe the game would not have had a result anyway, but the West Indies weren’t to know that and their performance to pull themselves out of trouble, was memorable.

In December of 2008, a powerful New Zealand Test side could find no way past a game West Indies and interestingly, the tone for the fight the visitors would put up came from the bat of Jamaican pace bowler Jerome Taylor.

It was the first Test of a two-match series and the West Indies had long been missing the names of the cricketers that made them great.

Though those names, Clive Lloyd, Viv Richards, Brian Lara, Malcolm Marshall, were no longer around, the proud legacy they left behind meant even this ‘watered-down’ version of the West Indies would not be pushovers.

The West Indies were sent into the field first up and despite three wickets apiece from Daren Powell (3-68), Fidel Edwards (3-91) and skipper Chris Gayle (3-42), things were off to a rocky start.

New Zealand would put 365 on the board on the first day, thanks to 95 from Daniel Flynn and 89 from Jesse Ryder.

No play was possible on day two of the Test and when the West Indies went to bat, the conditions for batting had changed.

Still Gayle was at his aggressive best, slamming 74 from 103 deliveries to get the run chase off to a rollicking good start. However, Sewnarine Chattergoon (13), Ramnaresh Sarwan (8), and Xavier Marshall (20), did not stay very long.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul, however, would bat with, of all people, pacer Jerome Taylor, to give West Indies a chance at staying in the game.

Before Taylor came to the crease, Chanderpaul, who would eventually make 76 from 200 deliveries, lost the services of Brendan Nash for 23 and Denesh Ramdin for five.

Now he was batting with the tail, the score was 173-6. Even with a day rained out, this game could have been over in a jiffy.

But Taylor wasn’t in the mood to give up the ghost and scored an almost run-a-ball century, slamming 17 fours and three massive sixes, to end on 106 from 107.

Nobody else scored a run and so the West Indies crept, or rather, blasted their way to 340, a deficit of just 25.

Rain made sure there was no play on the fourth day and much of the fifth day, with New Zealand, 44-2 in their second innings before the game came to an end.

But Taylor’s batting made sure there was little chance of New Zealand running away with the game and provides an example of some of the heroics current West Indies coach, Phil Simmons, will be hoping to see with today’s batsmen when the team meets England in the decider of the #raisethebat Series.

Paul-Andre Walker

Paul-Andre is the Managing Editor at SportsMax.tv. He comes to the role with almost 20 years of experience as journalist. That experience includes all facets of media. He began as a sports Journalist in 2001, quickly moving into radio, where he was an editor before becoming a news editor and then an entertainment editor with one of the biggest media houses in the Caribbean.

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